A private school in Miami that previously said vaccinated teachers would have to stay away from students has now told parents to keep children home for 30 days if they receive a Covid-19 vaccination.
Centner Academy asked parents to consider holding off on vaccinating their children until the summer and repeated false and misleading claims about Covid vaccines, according to WSVN, which reported on a letter sent to parents.
Students who do get vaccinated will have to miss a month of school, the letter said, according to WSVN.
“Because of the potential impact on other students and our school community, vaccinated students will need to stay at home for 30 days post-vaccination for each dose and booster they receive and may return to school after 30 days as long as the student is healthy and symptom-free,” the school said, according to WSVN.
Instead, the school said parents planning to vaccinate their children should wait until school is out in summer “when there will be time for the potential transmission or shedding onto others to decrease,” according to WSVN.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has addressed false claims about “shedding,” saying on its webpage about myths and facts regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, “Vaccine shedding is the term used to describe the release or discharge of any of the vaccine components in or outside of the body. Vaccine shedding can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus. None of the vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. contain a live virus.”
The CDC, along with other leading health authorities, has repeatedly said Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
“COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials,” the agency said on its website. “The vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support approval or authorization of a vaccine.”
The CDC said millions of people in the U.S. have received the vaccinations since they were authorized for emergency use by the FDA.
“These vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history,” the agency said.
More than 403 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines have been administered in the U.S. from Dec. 14 through Oct. 12, according to the CDC.
David Centner, a co-founder of the school, said in a statement to NBC News that the school’s policy “was instituted because several parents on our Parent Advisory Board thought it worth consideration” and was enacted after “many hours of deliberations.”
“A similar policy was actually instituted for the middle school at the beginning of the school year, but now with COVID vaccines being considered for 5-12 years old the policy was adopted for the younger students,” Centner said in the statement.
Last month, Pfizer and BioNTech submitted data to the FDA to clear its Covid-19 vaccine for use in children ages 5 to 11. The Pfizer vaccine has been available for Americans 12 and older since May.
“Centner Academy’s policy was enacted as a prudent precautionary measure after much thoughtful deliberation. To be clear, the school leadership does not believe that one who is vaccinated can infect another person with COVID,” Centner said in his statement. “Further, the school is not opining on whether a vaccinated person can negatively impact others. However, due to voluminous anecdotal reports in circulation on this latter topic, we must err on the side of caution when making decisions that may impact the health of the school community. Until there are definitive and scientifically proven studies that refute these reports, we need to do what is best for our students and staff.”
Tuition at the school, which offers preschool through middle school, ranges from more than $15,000 to nearly $30,000 a year, according to its website.
In April, Centner Academy said it would not allow vaccinated teachers to be in proximity to students.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” the school said at the time. “It was a consensus from our advisors that until this topic is investigated more thoroughly, it is in the best interests of the children to protect them from the unknown implications of being in close proximity for the entire day with a teacher who has very recently taken the Covid-19 injection.”
Centner, who founded Centner Academy with his wife, Leila Centner, also previously produced an anti-vaccine film targeting Black communities with misinformation and conspiracy theories about the Covid vaccine.
The school hosted two January talks by anti-vaccination activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., where Kennedy shared his misinformed anti-vaccination views with a private audience and met with children, according to posts shared on Leila Centner’s Facebook page.
The Centners donated nearly $500,000 to the Republican National Committee and state Republican parties last year alone, and they donated $11,200 — the maximum allowed — to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.